The dcis is considered as a possible precursor of breast cancer: it may result from an invasive ductal breast cancer. Read more about dcis!


As DCIS (Ductal carcinoma in situ) refer to physicians a precursor of breast cancer in the milk ducts, which (not yet) grows into surrounding tissue and does not form metastases. With a probability of 30 to 50 percent, this develops into invasive ductal breast cancer - the most common form of breast cancer. Read more about symptoms, diagnosis, therapy and prognosis of DCIS here!

ICD codes for this disease: ICD codes are internationally valid medical diagnosis codes. They are found e.g. in doctor's letters or on incapacity certificates. D05C50

Product Overview


  • DCIS can cause breast cancer

  • DCIS: diagnosis by mammography and biopsy

  • This is how the DCIS is handled

  • DCIS: Good prognosis

DCIS can cause breast cancer

In DCIS (ductal carcinoma in situ), epithelial cells that line the breast ducts of the breast are pathologically altered. These cells spread only in the milk ducts (ductal), so they remain "on site" (in situ). That is, they do not (yet) penetrate into surrounding mammary tissue. In 30 to 50 percent of cases, however, this will happen at some point: then DCIS will develop into an invasive ductal breast cancer, a form of breast cancer that grows into surrounding tissue, starting from the milk ducts.

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DCIS: diagnosis by mammography and biopsy

The DCIS does not always show regular growth in the milk ducts: it can skip short sections and continue to grow elsewhere in the milk ducts. It rarely forms a knot and can therefore usually not be discovered when palpating the breast.

In contrast, DCIS is associated with microcalcifications in 70 to 95 percent of cases, ie small calcium deposits. These can be displayed well in mammography.

To determine whether it is a DCIS or breast cancer, a tissue sample is taken (biopsy) and examined in the laboratory histologically. It also determines the degree of degeneration of DCIS - from grade 1 or G1 (low risk: develops into breast cancer in 30 percent of cases) to grade 3 or G3 (high risk: if left untreated, becomes very common in breast cancer).

This is how the DCIS is handled

The risk of breast cancer developing from a DCIS is quite high. Therefore, experts recommend that a ductal carcinoma in situ should always be treated for safety's sake.


The affected tissue area of ​​the breast is surgically removed. At least five millimeters are cut into the healthy tissue. This "safety distance" is to ensure that all changed cells are removed.

The procedure is carried out as possible breast conserving. In some cases, however, breast amputation (mastectomy) is necessary, for example if the extent of the pathologically altered cells is too large and their removal "in the healthy" (ie with a safety margin) is not possible.

In contrast to breast cancer, the altered cells of a DCIS can not spread across the lymphatics to the adjacent lymph nodes (or beyond). With the DCIS-Op, usually no lymph nodes have to be removed.


For some patients, physicians recommend radiotherapy to the entire breast after surgery. This reduces the risk of later recurrence of cancer. For example, this postoperative (adjuvant) radiotherapy is indicated in patients who are relatively young, or who have abnormally altered cells found in the distant tissue near the edges.

Antihormonal therapy

In some cases, tamoxifen may be useful as an adjunct treatment when the DCIS cells have receptors for estrogen. The active ingredient blocks these hormone receptors and thus the growth of altered cells.

DCIS: Good prognosis

It can not be estimated in individual cases, whether a ductal carcinoma in situ continues to develop into an invasive breast cancer or not. Therefore, treatment is recommended in any case. If it succeeds to completely remove the morbidly altered cells, that has DCIS a good prognosis and is almost always curable. Afterwards, regular check-ups are advisable.

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    Cancer symptoms that women often ignore

    "I know my body and would notice if something is wrong with me," many women think. And in most cases that's true. Nevertheless, there are some symptoms that seem harmless, but may also indicate an incipient cancer. In the following, we have compiled the most important early warning signs that should be the subject of a more detailed investigation.

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    Weight loss for no reason

    Most women are happy when the scale shows less than usual. Especially if they have not changed their lifestyle. But beware: If you lose more than five kilos in one month without any obvious reason, you should have a doctor check you. Although an overactive thyroid may be the trigger, in some cases, the weight loss is a sign of a cancer, such as lung cancer, stomach and intestinal or ovarian cancer.

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    The breast changes

    The palpation of the breast should be natural for women - but that alone is not enough. Because not all types of breast cancer announce themselves by tactile knots in the tissue. Keep an eye on your chest as you raise your arms: Are both breasts moving symmetrically? Also pay attention to non-decaying skin redness and flaking, or if the touch sensitivity or the color of the nipples change.

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    Swollen lymph nodes

    Lymph nodes are involved as "filter stations" in all important processes of the immune system. Fights the body infection, lymph nodes can swell locally and also hurt. There is usually no reason to worry about short-term reactions. If a lymph node remains permanently swollen without any obvious cause, this should be clarified by a doctor. For example, a form of cancer in which swollen lymph nodes are a typical symptom is leukemia.

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    bleeding between periods

    For many women, bleeding is not uncommon. However, if you normally only lose blood punctually and usually do not know about bleeding, you should be aware. Does it really bleed from the vagina, or maybe from the anus? The former is often an early sign of uterine cancer, the latter could indicate colon cancer.

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    Blood at the toilet

    Blood in the stool should never be ignored. Although hemorrhoids can also trigger bleeding, the addition of blood can also be an indication of colon cancer. Also in the urine, no blood should be seen. In menstruating women, both occasionally mingles during urination, and inflammation in the genitourinary tract is occasionally associated with mild blood loss, but in some cases the symptom is bladder or kidney cancer.

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    Changes in the mouth

    Especially smokers should be alert here. Because white spots on the tongue or the oral mucosa, which can not be wiped off, can point to the so-called leukoplakia. Particularly dangerous are the changes on the lower tongue and on the cheeks inside. These are cornifications, which can be interpreted as a precancer.

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    Always tired

    Everyone has a bad day. But if the fatigue or fatigue persists for a longer period, it should be clarified by a doctor. The cause does not necessarily have to be cancer. For example, it may indicate iron deficiency or mental health problems. But mainly cancers such as leukemia or bowel and stomach cancer make affected people in the early stages already limp.

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